Nicholas J. Wittner

Professor in Residence

Law College Building
648 N. Shaw Lane Rm 334
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300

Professor Nicholas Wittner served for 20 years as an assistant general counsel for the Nissan North America Legal Department. He headed the Legal Department's Product Group, which is responsible for the management of product liability litigation, product-related class actions, safety and environmental regulatory compliance matters, and patent litigation. He also advised engineers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Japan on safety compliance, as well as product safety and liability prevention.

Before his work at Nissan, Professor Wittner was an executive attorney at General Motors for 11 years, where he managed complex nationwide product liability litigation.

His professional activities have included leadership positions with the ABA Section of Litigation, including co-chair of the ABA's Products Liability Committee. He is a member of the American Law Institute. Professor Wittner served on the Members Consultative Group for and was deeply involved in ALI's Restatement Third on Products Liability. He also was the Chair of the Product Liability Advisory Council. Professor Wittner has been a frequent speaker at ABA and other professional association conferences and authored numerous professional publications.

Prof. Wittner has chaired, served as a keynote speaker, and moderated programs on autonomous vehicles and other advanced automated technologies, most recently at the Autonomous Vehicle Safety Regulation World Congress. He is one of the nation’s leading experts on legal issues involving these and related technologies. He has also served as the Faculty Adviser to the Law College’s Symposium on “The Transformation of Transportation: Autonomous Vehicles, Google Cars, and Vehicles Talking to Each Other”.

He earned his undergraduate degree, with high honors, from Michigan State University, and graduated cum laude from Wayne State University Law School, where he was a member of the Wayne Law Review.

Professor Wittner teaches Product Liability Law and Practice; Advanced Civil Procedure; and Automated Vehicles and the Law, as well as the Advanced Product Liability seminar course. In addition, Professor Wittner has taught International Civil Litigation in the J.D. program, Civil Litigation for Foreign-Educated Lawyers in the Law College’s LL.M Program; and published “Civil Litigation for Foreign-Educated Lawyers, an Aspen Custom Textbook now in its fourth edition. Professor Wittner has taught internationally, including in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Download Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

J.D. 1979, cum laude, Wayne State University Law School
B.S. 1975, with high honors, Michigan State University